Copyright by World Economic Forum.
Photo by Moritz Hager

I think there might be something special about Sheryl Sandberg. More than just the fact that she presents well and functions on little sleep.

If you don’t know Sheryl, she is COO of Facebook, known for her cutting edge book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, and having the unfortunate first hand life-doesn’t-behave-as-expected experience of becoming a young widow. With the death of Dave, she deserved privacy, but was given little. Subsequently she co-authored Option B with Adam Grant, addressing how to be resilient in face of loss.

If you don’t remember her from the above, possibly you will remember her recently fielding questions before a Congressional hearing regarding Facebook’s responsibility in Russian interference in the last presidential election. She was no fool: she didn’t serve FB up on a platter, and yet she openly addressed Facebook’s responsibility to society.

All of it impressive.

But that’s not what I am talking about when I say I think there is something special about Sheryl Sandberg.

Have you listened to her speak? Or read her writing? If so, have you noticed the tone… the presence that comes through?

You don’t feel the need to scrub off her public persona. You sense she knows her stuff and has no trouble being policy and product-focused. But in her confident, softly assertive delivery you also hear a woman – a mother – who is interested in juggling corporate profit with the desire to pursue the greater good for our children.

I have no doubt that she has a big stick within range, but she doesn’t lead with it. Instead of being distant and brittle when on the hot seat, you can imagine the woman in sweats, leveled by a head cold.

And that brings me to the only thing I am pretty certain of: Sheryl Sandberg is fun.

It will be interesting to watch Sandberg’s evolving journey. I would venture to say there will plenty of surprises.

Sheryl’s Recent NYT Op-Ed column

I am including Sandberg’s Op-Ed from the New York Times: “Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After Loss.” I loved reading about how the family made a poster of “family rules” that now hangs on the wall in her home – for everyone to read daily.